The "Grim and Serious Rangitiki"
    1939 ~ 1947

By the time England had declared war on Germany on 7 September 1939, the Rangitiki had already that year made two full tours to New Zealand.  Her arrival in Auckland on 24 October 1939 from London would  indicate that she left England either just as or just after Mr. Chamberlain's declaration.  Bearing in mind that Hitler's U-Boats had sunk the liner
Athenia within hours of the start of hostilities, one has to wonder what kind of voyage this one was.
vv
At the time the 'Tiki would still have been decorated in NZSCo. colours, as evidenced by the dockside photograph below.  The temporary lifeboats rigged up on either side of the ship from the foremast appear to have made their appearance prior to the fitting of guns and other paraphernalia, and the application of the glorious grey paint coat she had to wear for several long years.

 

 

21 February 2006
Image removed ~ it transpires that it was a pre-1936 image
.

 

This picture, "borrowed" from the Internet is captioned to suggest it is a wartime photograph.  If so, it must have been a very early wartime photograph.



 

The temporary lifeboats lend something of an ominous air to the Rangitiki still in "civilian" colours, a precursor to the stark looking troopship she was to become. 
Undated photograph, location uncertain.
(Coutesy J.T. Beardow)



 

Cape Town, South Africa, February/March 1940 In war paint, armed, fitted with paravane arm.

Note: At this stage she still had white superstructure...

This is probably the ship that Ernie Pyle commented  on when he called her "the grim and serious Rangitiki" ~ later to sail upon her to North Africa.

(Copyright: John H. Marsh Maritime Collection
IZIKO; SA Maritime Museum)



 

Somewhere in the United States ~ 1944

Note:  ...and now she is all grey.
 
(Collection of the United States Cost Guard
Steamship Historical Society of America Collections
Langsdale Library, University of Baltimore?



 

In Wellington, New Zealand circa 1945

I hate to admit that I have mislaid the name of
the gentleman who emailed this image to me.  It
replaces the previous copy of the shot which was
"borrowed" from the Internet.

When I am able to give full credit, I will do so.

This shot will expand to a spectacular image in which
the name RANGITIKI is clearly legible.